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I filed and paid for extension of Visa with I-539 form before my original visa expired on May 6th 2020. I have not heard back from UCIS, should I worry? I dont want to travel while tests and vaccines are required, therefore prefer to stay as long as I can.

It says on UCIS homepage https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-to-covid-19 If You File in a Timely Manner. Nonimmigrants generally do not accrue unlawful presence while the timely-filed, non-frivolous EOS/COS application is pending. Where applicable, employment authorization with the same employer, subject to the same terms and conditions of the prior approval, is automatically extended for up to 240 days after I-94 expiration when an extension of stay request is filed on time.


Thank you so much for this answer! What does it mean: your visa would not be voided. What happens when a visa is voided? I have to get a new visa anyway each time I come, so is that a problem that the visa is voided?

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    Do you mean your I-94 expired on May 6? The visa's expiration date has no relevance to your stay in the US.
    – user102008
    Mar 4 at 3:25
  • What kind of status are you extending? B2 visitor status? or some other status?
    – user102008
    Mar 5 at 0:16
  • B2 visitor visa
    – Xanta
    Mar 6 at 10:07
  • How long was the extension that you had originally requested? If you had applied for an extension in May 2020, it's currently March 2021 so it's greater than 6 months (which I believe is the max duration on B2). If I have to speculate, I don't think you're ever coming back to America after you leave this time.
    – nikhil
    Mar 10 at 1:42
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It depends on what you mean by "legally okay". What is true is that you do not accrue "unlawful presence" (for the 3-year/10-year unlawful presence ban) while a timely-filed, non-frivolous Extension of Stay or Change of Status application is pending.

If your Extension of Stay is denied, you will start accruing unlawful presence from the date of the denial. This means that by the time you hear from USCIS, you will have accrued some number of days of unlawful presence, but as long as you leave before accruing 180 days of unlawful presence, you will not trigger a ban. Your visa will also have been automatically voided.

Assuming you are are extending B2 visitor status, extensions are only given in 6-month increments. So if your Extension of Stay is approved, if you didn't file a second Extension of Stay before November 6 2020, you will also start accruing unlawful presence from the date of the approval, because the I-94 granted in the approval would have expired in the past. So in this case, there is not much difference between approval and denial.

If you leave the US before an approval or denial decision is made, you would not have accrued any unlawful presence, and your visa would not be voided.

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    I would also note that it’s better to leave the US on time if you are physically capable of doing so. You don’t want to encounter a grumpy CBP agent later on who thinks you’ve filed a frivolous extension application.
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 5 at 2:44
  • Thank you so much for this answer! What does it mean: your visa would not be voided. What happens when a visa is voided? I have to get a new visa anyway each time I come, so is that a problem that the visa is voided?
    – Xanta
    Mar 9 at 20:36
  • When a visa is voided, you cannot use it to enter the US again? Why do you have to get a new visa each time you come? Is it because the validity period of the visa is very short? or it is a single-entry visa? If it is a multiple-entry visa, you should be able to use it to enter the US as many times as you want before the expiration date. But if it's voided, then you cannot use it even if it's unexpired. If your visa has already expired anyway, then it doesn't matter if it was voided or not.
    – user102008
    Mar 9 at 22:27

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